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Once again a large contingent of Aussies will converge on Dunedin, in New Zealand’s South Island, to tackle the Otago Rally.

To date 12 entries have been lodged with the event organisers, and this means that some 100 Aussies, of all shapes and sizes, will the trip across the Tasman Sea.

Drivers include Ross Dunkerton, Keith Callinan, Darryn Snooks, Jeff David, Phil Mason, Brad Goldsborough and Neville Whittenbury.

Dunkerton, with co-driver Alan Stean, will pedal a Ford Escort RS1800 over the 240 competitive kilometre two-day course, put together over 13 special stages and all conducted in daylight.

The rally runs south of Dunedin on Saturday, May 16, with a tarmac ‘Super Special’ in Dunedin late in the day; then the rally continues to the northwest of the picturesque town on the Sunday.

Keith and Mary-Anne Callinan (19th outright in 2008) will also drive a Ford Escort RS1800, whilst Jeff David and Grant Geelan will see their way around the course in their quick Porsche 911.

Driving a Datsun 180B, Neville Whittenbury and Leigh Stoles will be out to better their fine 23rd place last year in the same car, while Phil Mason (with local Dean McCrostie co-driving) will be keen to do improve on last year’s 26th place.

Darryn Snooks, bring Matt De Vaus as co-driver this year, will try to beat his 2008 record of two DNF’s – one on the first day and the another on the second day, when he left the road, went through a new barb wire fence and damaged every panel of the Datsun Stanza, albeit not too severely!

The Stanza was completely stripped after the 2008 Otago Rally and has been rebuilt by brother Justyn. This has meant a bit of standdown from rallies for the past six months, but Snooks Motorsport is gearing up to defend Darryn’s 2007 victory in Australia’s biggest classic rally, the 2009 Alpine Rally.

Snooks Motorsport will be transporting four cars in a container to and from Dunedin – the Snooks Stanza, Jeff David Porsche 911, Whittenbury Datsun 180B and Brad Goldborough’s Datsun 2.4ltr 1600. The team is lucky it has the old man, Tom Snooks, to assist with the loading.

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